Can a Hashtag Determine Your Stock Price?

New York, NY, USA, May 28, 2018


Last year Donald Trump published a hostile message to Amazon causing it a 5.7-billion-dollar loss, which is 1.2% of its share value. The same scenario happened with Toyota (-3%) General Motors (-1%) and locked Martin (-3,19%). However, the 45th American president isn’t the only responsible of this loss provoked by 140 characters

Nowadays, Social Media play an important role for the corporate information strategies thanks to digital transformation, communications and media relations. This is a phenomenon that Wiztopic clients, mostly banks and insurances, are observing closely when distributing sensible information through their channels, among which Twitter is the most influential.

However, on twitter, everything can change in only few seconds. As Ryan Holmes has explained in his book The Four Billion Dollar Tweet, social media created an international ranking of information sources according to their virality, mass storytelling and real time news. Not to mention fake news that invaded the social sphere and proliferated due to algorithms.




Like it or not, information reaches stakeholders of different companies: shareholders, collaborators, customers, partners and the public. A company’s profile or it’s managers’ accounts play a crucial role for reputation of companies, their goodwill and their share value. 

In 2012 Twitter decided to introduce a new symbol, the cashtag "$" that redirects to tweets containing corporate and financial information. For example, " $GE " for General Electric, $AAPL for Apple or $MSFT for Microsoft. With a simple link, users can see all the tweets concerning a listed company. 

StockTwit was at the origin of the innovation which shook the financial sector. On $Twitter we can find both stock exchange amateurs and professionals that either praise a share value or openly denigrate it. This network already counts more than 1.5 million visitors per month with more than 250 000 active users that post more than 220 messages per minute. A spillway of comments and recommendations, more or less credible, that the company should really consider. It can also be a representative sample of the company’s perceptions.

The manager’s personal branding strategy to improve the reputation of the group

As the French blogger Olivier Cimelière explains in his latest article Managers & Digitalization: is it obligatory or an option? Digitalization of listed or reknown companies’ managers, is not a choice anymore but an obligation.

Digitalization is an important shift for companies’ reputation, it now appears in most job descriptions of good CEOs just like the media and investors relations. It includes public speaking and the group’s reputation improvement. A manager interested in Social Media is a manager that takes care of his environment and his customers. It’s not necessary to be constantly active but still, a total absence is not recommended 

Well managed tweets can have a strong impact for a manager. Externally, it can allow him to assert his ambitions and to share without intermediaries his company’s vision; that’s what Jean-Pascal Tricoire, Schneider Electric CEO does. Internally it’s considered a strategic alignment and direct motivation for the teams. When you work in a multinational company with 500 000 employees, tweets become the voice of the boss, just like running into him in the hall.

It seems that the direct words of a President would count more than formal announcements out of steps with Twitter codes. This is what Synomia shows in its study on the public speaking of the CAC 40 managers; giving as example Stéphane Richard (Orange) and his tweet talk #AskRichard, Frédéric Oudéa (Société Générale) and Jean Pascal Tricoire (Schneider Electric).

« Business is conversation » it’s not a novelty; this was the first of the 95 Cluetrain Manifesto conclusions published in 1999, a while before twitter appeared.  Business needs networks, and not being part of the conversation gives competitors and identity thieves a chance to speak on their behalf.  The absence of a referent speaker is critical because anyone, particularly the most incompetent or those who deliberately spread fake news, can take advantage. An absolute guarantee against malevolence doesn’t exist, but with Wiztopic risks can significantly be reduced thanks to a simultaneous information multiposting through at least 5 channels such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Email a good newsroom that guarantees greater visibility compared to traditional press release.

Well controlled corporate and executive information became a crucial element of this ecosystem. Instead of being a constraint, an experimented use of social media such as Twitter, can be a great opportunity for managers and communicators.